Gamers have a new place to call home at Durham College.
A first-of-its-kind gaming centre had its grand opening Tuesday, giving students a place to de-stress or practice for an eSports competition (think of it as a professional video game match).
“We’ve really upped the game with this arena,” says Michael Cameron, a professor with the college. “This means we can tie this centre into a lot of programs, including broadcast journalism and computers.”
The state-of-the-art arena has everything a gamer would ever need, boasting a 3,000-square-foot venue equipped with nearly 50 top-of-the-line computers with high-end graphics cards.
“There’s a lot of different types of games — shooters and games like League of Legends and Counterstrike,” says Priscilla Mak, a marketing student at Durham College.
Mak says having a library of games at their fingertips gives gamers a place to test their skills and socialize with other players.
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“This is a great place to hang out, play games, meet people. I just think it’s a great community,” says Mak.
The eSports arena is outfitted with space for more than 100 spectators. The centre has everything professional players need to hone their skills for the competitive gaming arena — which is great for passionate recreational gamers, and also for those who are seeking to build a career.
“It’s a viable career path to become a professional player,” says arena manager Sarah Wagg.
The new space is important for players like Christian Lavender, the captain of the Counterstrike team at Durham College.
“We play all teams across North America for team Counterstrike,” says Lavender. “I’m a varsity member as any other soccer or football player would be.”
The gaming arena is part of a larger effort by the college to incorporate eSports into the college’s program.